Members of Scotland’s biggest offshore trade union Unite have gone into an official dispute with employers, in a move that could lead to a vote on industrial action.
Unite, along with the GMB union, was seeking a wage increase for offshore members, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time.
The Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), an industry body for offshore employers, made an offer and, in a consultative ballot earlier this month, 85% of Unite members voted to reject the offer from their employers.
According to Unite, the proposal would have seen no increase in pay and no change to the conditions of members.
Unite on Wednesday gave notice of an official dispute under the OCA agreement, which means that there is now six weeks for both sides to find a resolution, Unite explained.
The union will also put procedures in place for a possible ballot on industrial action in the New Year.
Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “Sadly, we are being forced to give notice of an official dispute because our members believe they aren’t being listened to. The overwhelming result of the consultative ballot shows that the status quo is not an option.
“In the coming weeks, we will be looking to meet with the OCA employers to take this matter forward.”
In related news, according to a recent survey of more than 700 offshore workers conducted by Unite, health and safety standards in the offshore oil and gas industry have dropped in the last six months.